The arrival of Santa to Mullaghmore Pier by Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat was delayed when a hoax distress call was made to Malin Head Coast Guard.
As the four Bundoran Lifeboat crew were about to embark on their trip to Mullaghmore, they were diverted and tasked to an alleged incident in Donegal Town where, following a phone call to the Coast Guard at Malin Head, it was believed that four people were in an upturned boat near the quay in the town.
Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat sped to the scene.
The Rescue 118 Helicopter was also tasked from its base in Strandhill as were the Killybegs Coast Guard.
As the rescue services reached the scene the call was declared a hoax and they were stood down.
Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat Deputy Launching Authority Patrick O’Doherty said: “It is a sad day that people still get a kick out of making hoax calls to the rescue services – not one but three services were tasked on this occasion making them all unavailable should a real call for a real emergency have come in.
“The Gardai have been informed about this and will no doubt make their own enquiries.”
Following the incident the Bundoran Lifeboat crew carried on to their original destination of Mullaghmore Pier where they joined in the fun – raising awareness for the hard work of the RNLI.